The Leaderboard: Evan Medeiros

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.
Who is he?

Evan Medeiros was most recently director of China, Taiwan, and Mongolia affairs on the National Security Staff (NSS). Prior to his position on the NSS, he was a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation’s Washington, DC office, and a senior researcher on nonproliferation issues in East Asia at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California. He also served as an external researcher for the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Source: White House flickr photostream, U.S. Government Work.

Dr. Evan Medeiros, left, in the Oval Office with President Obama, Tom Donilon, and Danny Russel, right, in March 2013. Source: White House flickr photostream, U.S. Government Work.

Medeiros holds a PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics. A fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese, he has published extensively on international affairs in East Asia, U.S.-China relations, China’s foreign and national security policy, and China’s national defense industry.

Why is he in the news?

President Barack Obama appointed Medeiros special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs on the NSS. He succeeds Danny Russel, who on July 12 was sworn in as assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific.

What can we expect from him?

Dr. Medeiros’ experience across Asia and expertise in U.S.-China relations will be critical to the administration’s Asia policy in the next three and a half years, as it seeks to accelerate trade and economic engagement with partners in the Asia Pacific region. His appointment conveys the importance that Washington accords to the U.S.-China bilateral relationship. In addition, having talented officials such as Medeiros in key NSS positions ensures that the White House, and President Obama himself, will continue to exert control over important foreign policy issues.


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